[Federal Register: May 3, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 85)]
[Page 24597]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Recovery Plan for Two Plants From Rota (Nesogenes rotensis and 
Osmoxylon mariannense)

AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the 
availability of a recovery plan for two plants, Nesogense rotensis and 
Osmoxylon mariannense. These two plants are found only on the island of 
Rota in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and were 
federally listed as endangered in 2004.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the recovery plan are available by request from 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife 
Office, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, Box 50088, Honolulu, 
Hawaii 96850 (phone: 808-792-9400). An electronic copy of the recovery 
plan is also available at: http://www.fws.gov/endangered/recovery/index.html#plans

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patrick Leonard, Field Supervisor, at 
the above Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office.



    Recovery of endangered or threatened animals and plants is a 
primary goal of the Endangered Species Act (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et 
seq.) and our endangered species program. Recovery means improvement of 
the status of listed species to the point at which listing is no longer 
required under criteria set out in section 4(a)(1) of the Act. Recovery 
plans describe actions considered necessary for the conservation of the 
species, establish criteria for downlisting and delisting listed 
species, and estimate time and cost for implementing the measures 
needed for recovery.
    The Act requires the development of recovery plans for endangered 
or threatened species unless such a plan would not promote the 
conservation of the species. Recovery plans help guide the recovery 
effort by describing actions considered necessary for the conservation 
of the species, and estimating time and cost for implementing the 
measures needed for recovery.
    Section 4(f) of the Act requires that public notice and an 
opportunity for public review and comment be provided during recovery 
plan development. In fulfillment of this requirement, the Draft 
Recovery Plan for Two Points from Rota was made available for public 
comment from April 25 through June 26, 2006 (79 FR 23942). Information 
presented during the public comment period was considered in our 
preparation of this recovery plan, and is summarized in an appendix to 
the plan. We will forward substantive comments regarding recovery plan 
implementation to appropriate Federal or other entities so that they 
can take these comments into account during the course of implementing 
recovery actions.
    Nesogenes rotensis and Osmoxylon mariannense are found only on the 
island of Rota in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. 
Both species were federally listed as endangered in 2004, and O. 
mariannense is also protected by the government of the Commonwealth of 
the Northern Mariana Islands. Currently, there are two known 
populations of N. rotensis of 15 to 20 plants each. This species is 
found on exposed, raised limestone flats in non-forested beach strand 
habitat that is subject to salt spray during severe storms. The 10 
known individuals of O. mariannense are scattered within limestone 
forests within the Sabana, the cloudswept plateau that dominates the 
western half of Rota that is often shrouded in clouds and mist.
    Human activities and introduced species that alter native 
vegetation and habitat are believed to be the primary factors leading 
to the small population sizes and limited distribution of both species. 
These activities include agriculture; ranching; non-native plant and 
animal introductions; resort and beach park development in the coastal 
habitat of Nesogenes rotensis; and road construction and maintenance in 
the Sabana habitat of Osmoxylon mariannense. In the last decade, 
several major typhoons have made landfall on Rota, severely impacting 
individuals of both species. Another factor that may affect the 
recovery of these two species is their vulnerability to extinction from 
reduced reproductive vigor due to their small population sizes. 
Recovery actions in this plan are designed to address threats to both 
species in order to achieve the recovery objectives of downlisting to 
threatened status and eventual delisting.
    The overall objective of this recovery plan is to restore and 
maintain multiple naturally reproducing populations of both species on 
the island of Rota such that the protections of the Act are no longer 
necessary. The recovery strategy focuses on: (1) Protecting and 
restoring the native coastal strand and forest habitat of Nesogenes 
rotensis and Osmoxylon mariannense, respectively; (2) establishing new 
populations and augmenting existing populations of both species through 
methods that include controlled propagation and outplanting; (3) 
assessing the impacts of feral ungulates (deer and pigs), rats, mice, 
insects, diseases, and introduced plants, and determining appropriate 
control or eradication methods; (4) building public support for 
conservation; and (5) reassessing and refining recovery actions as 


    The authority for this action is section 4(f) of the Endangered 
Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1533(f).

    Dated: February 14, 2007.
David J. Wesley,
Acting Regional Director, Region 1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 07-2179 Filed 5-2-07; 8:45 am]